Even as we’re all struggling to stay afloat during these uncertain times, we must be vigilant as “solutions” are offered, that we don’t let the wool be pulled over our eyes. In recent weeks, we’ve seen a surge of propaganda promoting “sustainable” industrial farmed fish and a disturbing narrative that industrial aquaculture (read: factory fish farming) will solve food insecurity. We’re here to tell you that this messaging is false. We’ve seen this before. Big corporations swoop in making grandiose promises to support communities (economical gains, jobs, security, etc.) but the aftermath of these sweeping moves has left communities with low-wage jobs, privatized industries, and displaced residents while the big companies have depleted resources in order to fatten their pockets and control commodities. As we work tirelessly to steer Congress to support communities during this pandemic, we also need to remind Congress of the mistakes of the past. Mistakes that, if repeated, could have a catastrophic impact on hard working communities, especially amidst a global pandemic. The recent victory in the Gulf of Mexico, in which the court of appeals upheld the decision to prohibit offshore aquaculture is indicative of our power when we stand together. Now, it’s important to direct that power to voice our dissent with the latest push for the AQUAA act.  

These days, it’s easy to fall into a mindset of perilousness, but that’s why we’re continuing to hype the communities of fishers who have been working from dawn to dusk (and to dawn again) to provide us with healthy seafood. Over the past couple of months, we’ve seen incredible stories uplifted by our networks and during the past couple of weeks, we’ve been spotlighting our own series that gives an inside look into what #FishingDuringCOVID19 has meant for these communities.
Meet Tanner Saraspe. She’s been fishing off the coast of San Diego for the past ten years. A sample of her catch consists of spot prawn, rock crab, yellowtail, rockfish, yellowfin and bluefin tuna, but this is just a taste of her entire haul throughout the year. Much like many other fishers across the nation, within hours of the COVID-19 pandemic, 95% of her market had shut down. Nevertheless, Tanner moved quickly and resourcefully to adapt to the current crisis -- she was able to transition her business model from one that relied predominantly on wholesale markets to a direct-to-consumer model. But the story doesn’t end here, Tanner said they’ve had to continue to adapt and her hope is the direct-to-consumer model stays. For many states, the direct-to-consumer model is only a temporary provision. If we don’t advocate for direct access, we might not have the ability to buy fresh seafood directly from fishers after this pandemic. 
Tell us how COVID-19 has impacted commercial fishing for you. Contact Heidi Anne Rogers to be part of our #FishingDuringCOVID19 series.
We’re Taking Action! | Recent Actions
Tell Congress to Stop Development of Industrial Factory Fish Farms 
While many of us are still trying to come up for air from the pandemic, the aquaculture industry is aggressively moving in to develop factory fish farms that would do nothing to help fishing communities who are struggling to stay afloat. Even though some leaders from across the country are welcoming the development of these operations, there is little evidence we’re going to see any good come of it. In fact, other countries like Canada and Denmark, often considered leaders in fish farming, are moving away from industrial aquaculture, due to negative impacts to the environment and communities. Industrial aquaculture facilities would use giant floating cages to grow fish all around the U.S coast. Chemicals and untreated waste would flow through the facilities, polluting our natural waters, harming wild fish populations, and contributing to increased red tides which pose health risks to people and hurts recreational and commercial fishing. We stand alongside The Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition in strong opposition to the AQUAA Act (Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture), H.R. 6191 and urge you to add your name. Tell Congress to STOP the AQUAA Act now!
Stand with Bristol Bay
Bristol Bay’s fishermen, Indigenous communities, and businesses have been fighting to save Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine for more than a decade. That fight is at a critical moment right now with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers poised to permit the Pebble Mine any day now.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Pebble Mine with the conclusion that the Pebble Mine wouldn’t harm Bristol Bay’s salmon runs - the largest in the world. The Army Corps’ conclusion defies the well-documented science clearly showing that Pebble would cause adverse impacts, and it defies local and state opposition to the Pebble Mine. Politics are obscuring the science that makes it clear that the Pebble Mine would have unacceptable adverse impacts on the Bristol Bay watershed. That’s why we’re calling on the EPA, which has the authority to veto the proposed Pebble Mine under the Clean Water Act.
Tell Congress to Support Fishing Communities

Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve been working tirelessly to ensure fishing communities’ needs are met during a time when their services are essential. In early May, we released an official statement condemning the Trump Administration's new measures, which would effectively pave the way for factory fish farms, dangerously deregulate the fishing industry, and promote the export of our seafood under the guise of supporting the domestic seafood industry. These measures seem to benefit globalized industrial fishing and aquaculture businesses at the expense of the local and regional seafood industry. 

To build the momentum of our call for meaningful fisheries relief, we launched an online campaign targeting the Senate. We asked fellow community members, partners, and advocates to share our message online and to participate in a Twitter blitz directed at the Senate in support of local fisheries. On June 15, our message was shared by over 60 organizations and our social media toolkit was downloaded almost 600 times. At the end of July, we organized a virtual briefing for Congressional staffers to hear from fishing and farming community leaders from around the country. Staffers from over 15 offices were present. Community leaders on the panel included Buck Jones from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Linda Behnken with the AK Longline Fishermen’s Association, Ryan Bradley with the Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, Tim Barrett with the Massachusetts Groundfish Sector 10, and Jim Goodman with the National Family Farm Coalition and Family Farm Defenders. Our collaborative efforts have brought national attention and media recognition, but the fight isn’t over. 

We encourage you to continue to use your platforms to push Congress toward positive action for our fishing communities. Our social media toolkit is available for you to use. Tell Congress why supporting local fisheries is critical now more than ever. #FishermenAreEssential
Movement News
Community Support & Resources for the Revol-Ocean 

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